The Importance of Clinical Trials

Newer approaches to the treatment of RA have improved outcomes for many people but are not effective for everyone. Additional progress in the treatment of RA will come from clinical trials that test new drugs or new ways of managing symptoms or side effects. These studies involve large numbers of RA patients at many locations throughout the United States. Some studies focus on people with newly diagnosed RA, and others focus on people who have persistent symptoms in spite of prior RA treatment. As someone with RA, you may be eligible to participate in one of these studies. To learn more about clinical trials, talk with your rheumatology care team or visit ClinicalTrials.gov.

Promising new treatments that are currently being evaluated in clinical trials include drugs known as kinase inhibitors. Kinases are enzymes that help to relay messages within cells. Some kinases play a role in inflammation and RA, including the JAK (janus kinase) family of kinases and Syk (spleen tyrosine kinase). Drugs that inhibit these kinases may provide an effective new treatment option for RA, AS, PsA and other conditions with the added advantage of being taken orally (by mouth). Other promising new treatment approaches are also being evaluated.